SC woman pulled from car seconds before it's hit by train - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

SC woman pulled from car seconds before it's hit by train

GREER, SC (WIS) - A Williamston woman was saved when a Greer police officer coaxed her out of her stalled car on railroad tracks shortly before it was hit by an Amtrak train.

Sergeant Marcus O'Shields says Betsy DeVall approached a stop sign at the tracks early Tuesday morning and turned left as though she was at an intersection.

O'Shields says DeVall's car was stuck directly on the rails with the wheels spinning. He says
DeVall appeared to be lost and she was on her cell phone trying to get directions to a friend's house.

He says he radioed his dispatcher to notify the railroad when another officer radioed him the train was approaching.

O'Shields tells CNN he could hear the train coming, and he began telling DeVall she needed to leave the car. He says he doesn't think she realized the danger she was in until the train actually hit her vehicle.

DeVall tells The Greenville News that O'Shields was "a godsend," adding that if it hadn't been for him, she would be "in a body bag in a million pieces."

Amtrak engineer Scott Lynch says he was going about 72 miles per hour when he hit the brakes. He struck the car, which exploded in flames seconds later.

The train was carrying 180 passengers from New Orleans to New York City. Three people suffered slight injuries.

Ironically, just after the train passed, a Geico insurance commercial could be heard playing on the police car radio.

Posted by Chantelle Janelle

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